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Dr. Gretchen Benedix

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Senior Scientist

Currently resides in AZ
gbenedix [at]
Areas of Expertise
Targets: Asteroids, Mars, Meteorites, Moon
Disciplines/Techniques: Crater Counting, Geology, Mineralogy, Petrology, Spectroscopy

Research Interests

My research interests focus on the evolution of the Solar System, which is complex due to the number of processes that affected the bodies formed from the gas and dust of the solar nebula.  These processes include rapid (impact, shock waves, lightning) and slow (short-lived radionuclides, accretionary heat) heating events, mixing events, and cooling events, which may or may not occur in the presence of water (most likely in the form of ice, rather than liquid).  Exploring how these processes occur is important in order to understand the nature of planet formation in our own Solar System.  

My work is to use the information we can find in meteorites to unravel the history of the parent rock a meteorite came from.  I do this by analysing the mineralogy, petrology, geochemistry, spectroscopy, and more recently, geochronology of meteorites.  My broad background in meteorites allows me to draw comparisons between different groups. 

Honors and Awards

  • Fellow of the Meteoritical Society (since 2014)
  • Invited by HRH Queen Elizabeth IIto Adventurers and Explorers Reception at Buckingham Palace, Oct. 2011 (for expedition in Antarctica)
  • Invited participant as meteorite compositions expert on AMOR – Asteroid Sample Return Mission- proposal.
  • Asteroid 6579 re-named Benedix in 2006 by the International Astronomical Union for contributions to planetary science
  • Antarctic Service Medal of the United States of America (1997 and 2003)

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